2016 European Championship Qualifying, Group Stage 2016
  • André Schürrle (28', 65', 71')
  • Max Kruse (47', 81')
  • Ilkay Gündogan (51')
  • Karim Bellarabi (57')

Andre Schurrle records hat trick as Germany find form to beat Gibraltar

Andre Schurrle's hat trick helped Germany overcome a sluggish first half to put Gibraltar to the sword with a 7-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win.

Bastian Schweinsteiger's early penalty miss summed up a frustrating opening period for the world champions as they only led by Schurrle's 28th-minute strike at the break.

However, it was a completely different story in the second half as Germany ran in six further goals to complete the expected drubbing of minnows Gibraltar at the Estadio Algarve in Portugal.

Schurrle added two more goals for his second international hat-truck, while Max Kruse -- a first-half replacement for Mario Gotze -- added two of his own with Ilkay Gundogan and Karim Bellarabi also on the scoresheet.

The win sees Germany climb back up to second in Group D, a point behind leaders Poland, while international newcomers Gibraltar remain rock bottom without a point and now having conceded 34 goals in their six qualifiers.

Gibraltar did well to limit Germany to a 4-0 win in Dortmund back in November and they again made life difficult for the world's top-ranked team for half of this match, beginning in the ninth minute when goalkeeper Jordan Perez leapt to his left to turn away Schweinsteiger's penalty following a Jake Gosling foul on Jonas Hector.

The home side continued to keep Germany at bay but a defensive mistake allowed Joachim Low's men to take the lead in the 28th minute.

Ryan Casciaro decided to take a touch instead of clearing the ball on the edge of his own box and Schurrle nipped in to steal possession before going on to side-foot a low shot past Perez.

If Germany fans were hoping that would finally open the floodgates they were mistaken, as not only did the World Cup winners fail to find a second goal before half-time but they almost conceded an equaliser with Roman Weidenfeller having to tip Gosling's shot around the post.

The Germans peppered Perez's goal in the run-up to the interval, but they had to content themselves with the narrowest of leads at half-time.

The break worked in Germany's favour, though, as they regrouped and went on to rip Gibraltar apart with six more goals -- the first of which came inside two minutes of the restart.

Jerome Boateng's cross to the far post was unselfishly side-footed across goal by Mesut Ozil and Kruse had the simple task of tapping home.

Gundogan made it 3-0 four minutes later following a mis-placed Gibraltar pass before Bellarabi added a fourth in the 57th minute, the Bayer Leverkusen winger slotting in after Perez had unwisely chosen to push a back-pass back into play rather than let it go out for a corner, with Ozil taking advantage to set up Bellarabi.

The goals continued to flow as Gibraltar flagged and Wolfsburg forward Schurrle notched the next two with easy finishes in the 65th and 71st minutes before Kruse wrapped up the scoring nine minutes from time with a low volley that went through Perez's legs.

Bellarabi struck the post and Schweinsteiger brought a good save out of Perez as Germany sought more goals, but it ended with a third 7-0 defeat in six qualifiers for Gibraltar.